Coldstream 3-5 Lothian Thistle HV

Coldstream captain John Crawford scored a hat-trick, but his team were outplayed by the champions.
Coldstream captain John Crawford scored a hat-trick, but his team were outplayed by the champions.

John Crawford’s hat-trick was too little, too late as Coldstream crashed to defeat after being totally outplayed in the first half by the East of Scotland champions.

The visitors were 4-1 up at the break after dominating the first half, killing off the game as a contest in the process.

Coldstream will take some heart from an improved second-half performance, but with the points already safe the visitors had the luxury of being able to take their foot off the gas.

The Streamers remain bottom of the Premier Division and are facing a battle for survival in the top flight.

They will certainly need to play better than they did in this game if they are going to escape.

Lothian were in cruise control in the first half, dominating possession and territory.

Their opening goal after 13 minutes came from a surging run up the left flank from Kevin Keane. His cut-back was expertly finished by Willis Hare, who had time to pick his spot from close range.

Three minutes later, Kavin Twaddle’s men doubled their lead when Louis Swanson swerved a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the corner. Coldstream goalkeeper Mark Walters was helpless.

The third came after 33 minutes from a corner which resulted in a header smacking off the Coldstream crossbar. John Williams reacted first to head the rebound into the net.

Crawford pulled one back for Streamers with a superb finish out of the blue, but it was only a temporary reprieve for Steve Gibbard’s men.

When Michael Allan was penalised for a rash challenge in the box, Lothian converted the penalty to take a 4-1 lead just before half time.

With little more than pride at stake after the interval, Coldstream ccould at least take heart from an improved second-half performance.

Crawford fired an unstoppable into the roof of the net from 20 yards after neat play by Kris O’Neil to pull one back, but Lothian went up the other end to make it 5-2.

As Lothian eased off, Crawford was in the right place at the right time again to complete his hat-trick.

Coldstream: Walters, Powling, Cornish, Allan, Ainslie (Graham 63), Dickson, Rutherford (R McLeod 72), Hebdon, Crawford, Oliver, J Simpson (O’Neil 57). Subs not used: Gibbard, Clowes.